Losing Weight, Without Losing Your Budget
This week we are talking about how to lose weight. It is a common New Year's Resolution... and right about now is when people start falling off the wagon. If you live in Louisiana, then you know that Mardi Gras activities are in full swing, galas, king cakes, and parades. I mean, it's called Fat Tuesday for a reason, not to be ironic. Plus, aside from Mardi Gras, we have Valentine's Day coming up. That is the unofficial chocolate holiday. Everyone at the office is giving candy and then you'll probably go to to dinner or something to celebrate it (whether you want to or not). The diet pitfalls are coming, but it is possible to still make weight-loss happen, even under these circumstances.
Something that was a real life-saver for me this summer and fall was that I started to work out with my friends once a week. We didn't take a class or anything, we just got together and did something. We originally started this to tag along with a friend who was training for an extreme event called GoRuck
. Basically, we ran around downtown with weighed backpacks. It was fun! But then people in the group started whining and the group broke-up. But a few of my girl friends and I decided to keep doing our own thing.
The idea sparked into a challenge to figure out a group exercise activity, that we didn't have to pay for, that was effective, and we could all go. I wanted to share some of our ideas with you, and a few new ones that I want to try. Who said you had to buy a gym membership to get a dynamic workout?Downtown Runs:
We ran around downtown with weighted backpacks again, which is a lot of fun and you will get some interesting looks. All we would do is park at the Boardwalk, run over the Texas Street Bridge (it's a half mile long) and make a big square around downtown. If we saw stairs, we would run up them. If we saw a small wall, we would climb over it. We would sprint up parking decks and walk along ledges. It was really a lot of fun. It kind of felt like being a kid again! We would say we were running from some bad guys or something, it would give us purpose.
Most of the time our "runs" like this lasted about an hour and involved very little running. When you have 15lbs strapped to your back, the last thing you want to do is sprint. Mainly we walked really fast and jogged intermittently. The terrain downtown is pretty diverse, if you know where to look and have a little imagination!Note: I wouldn't do this alone. This is definitely an activity for a group, 4-6 usually works best. Safety in numbers! And it wouldn't hurt to add a male or two to your group... not only will they make you feel safer, but they will probably push you to go faster than normal.
I love doing stairs. I do them probably once a week if the weather is nice. Doing stairs with friends is a lot more fun and more challenging. Mainly it's more challenging because you're trying to talk and work-out, which is REALLY hard. Plus, I've noticed a huge difference in my lung capacity since I incorporated this into my routine. (Steep Stairs in the Back)
Originally I started doing stairs because my trainer told me to, but now I do them all on my own. My routine has changed up since then, but stairs a still a lot of fun. PLUS! They do wonders for the booty!(Short Stairs in the Front)
All we do is alternate sprinting and walking up the stairs for 30-35 minutes. Usually we try to do sets of 5-7 on each set of steps at the CenturyLink Center. There are, I think seven sets of stairs in front of the CL Center, but I typically stick to the two sets of stairs on either side of the main entrance. There's a steep set, and a short set. I'll alternate sprints and walks up each set of stairs on either side of the building. I mapped it for you today.
And I try to jog from one set to the other... but that never works out. And when I want up the stairs, I vary my angles. For example, when I walked up the steep stairs, 2 of my passes of walking up where side-steps up. So I really worked my hips.
The beauty of stairs is that you can work all angles of your leg, if you get creative. I found some stair workouts
online if you wanted to check them out, or go for your own, just don't hurt yourself!Playground Attack!
My husband and I used to train on the playground in our neighborhood to get ready for Tough Mudder. It was a lot of fun, and we definitely got a dynamic workout. Instead of seeing the playground as slides, look at it like an obstacle course, like Ninja Warrior or Wipe-Out. Seeing it in this way, make the whole playground look like a gym!
Slides are great for running up, ladders are great to climb, monkey bars are good for pull-ups. There are always stairs, so do tricep dips, single-leg squats, box jumps, or step-ups. The playground is an endless supply of fun ways to work out, I know we laughed about as much as we sweated when RB and I did this (mainly we laughed at how nonathletic I am).Playgroud work-outs
I hope these ideas inspire you to try something new (and free) in your workout routine! It's a lot easier to keep working out if you make it fun and social. This week is the conclusion to the Shoe Challenge, and I'm pretty nervous that I won't make my 10lbs goal... but I am giving it my all this last week! Check it out on Thursday!